Giants – Saints Preview: Diary of a Giants Fan
After losing to the Redskins on Monday night, the Giants will try to get back on track at home against the Saints.
I won't go so far as to say that the Giants and Giants fans have entered a torturous state of purgatorial angst, but can't it be easy just once? Last year the Giants lost four straight before miracle-ing a win in Dallas and winning the last two games of the season to earn a playoff birth.
The year before, a 4-4 second half record - which included the DeSean Jackson game winning punt return - saw the Giants miss the playoffs. The year before, the Giants went 3-8 in their last 11 and did not see the post season. The year before, an 11-1 record ended in disaster with a self-inflicted-firearm-sweatpant-wardrobe-malfunction and an embarrassing loss in the team's first playoff game.
This year, a 6-2 record has become a 7-5 one, and a comfortable division lead has, as it always does, evaporated into a tenuous one - the Redskins and Cowboys hot on the Giants' heals at a time in which Big Blue's schedule is only getting tougher.
This week, the Giants host Drew Brees and the Saints, the authors of last year's 743-6 beat down of the G-Men on Monday Night Football. Not much of those Saints remain in these Saints, however; they're 5-7 in 2012, their preseason bounty scandal proving too much to handle. Unfortunately for the Giants, however, what has carried over from 2011 is Drew Brees' prolific passing - they're third in the league in the statistic and Brees is, once again, closing in on 4,000 yards on the year.
And there is where the game will be won.
Though their propensity for field goals in lieu of touchdowns is frustrating, the Giant offense should have no problem with a bottom of the league Saint defense, and the game will very much be in the hands of the defense. Either Brees will surgically and unmercifully dissect the rampant vulnerabilities of the Giant secondary on way to win, or the defensive line will put enough pressure on the quarterback, Kenny Phillips and crew will do enough to limit quick-hitters, and the Giants will take the first step toward pushing us out of this agonizing state of nervous limbo.
It's hard to know which is more likely. Drew Brees could easily play the groundhog who throws six touchdown passes, sees his shadow, and gives us three more weeks of his figurative, playoff birth still up in the air, winter. But, perhaps more out of desire than any specific knowledge, I'm pegging the Giants as Bill Murray. It'll be a close, reasonably high scoring game, but I think the Giant defense does just enough to allow Eli Manning to be Eli Manning again and win the game - stop the groundhog. 27-24 Giants.
Follow me on Twitter for thoughts throughout the game, check back after for a full wrap-up, and, as always, Go Giants!